Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky gets standing ovation after UN speech

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky received a standing ovation from United Nations diplomats after giving a virtual speech in which he outlined a five-point “formula for peace.”

Ukraine’s first lady Olena Zelenska could be seen smiling as delegates to the United Nations General Assembly warmly applaud her husband following his address on Wednesday evening.

In his address to the 77th session of the UNGA, Mr Zelensky spoke out against Russia’s unprovoked invasion of his country, which is now into its seventh month.

Ukraine’s first lady Olena Zelenska smiles as delegates to the United Nations General Assembly applaud her husband, Volodymyr Zelensky

(REUTERS)

Mr Zelensky told the UNGA that his country was “ready for peace” and added that his plan sets out the “preconditions for peace” and could work for “everyone who may find themselves in similar circumstances.”

He told diplomats that his plan included “punishment for aggression, protection of life, restoration of security and territorial integrity, security guarantees and determination to defend oneself.”

Mr Zelensky, who appeared in his trademark olive green t-shirt, also said in his speech that Ukraine would eventually force all Russian troops from its borders.

“We can return the Ukrainian flag to our entire territory. We can do it with the force of arms,” the president said. “But we need time.”

The UNGA voted last week to allow the speech to be given by a video link because of the continued conflict in the country.

Mr Zelensky’s speech came after Russian leader Vladimir Putin announced a “partial mobilisation” of 300,000 reservists to fight in the heavily-depleted Russian forces in Ukraine.

It is the first call-up of its kind in Russia since World War II and was met with some level of opposition in the country.

Russian independent human rights group OVD-Info says that more than 1,000 protesters have been arrested following Mr Putin’s announcement.

US president Joe Biden also focussed on Russia’s aggression in Ukraine in his own speech on Wednesday.

“This war is about extinguishing Ukraine’s right to exist as a state, plain and simple, and Ukraine’s right to exist as a people. Whoever you are, wherever you live, whatever you believe, that should make your blood run cold,” said Mr Biden.

“If nations can pursue their imperial ambitions without consequences, then we put at risk everything this very institution stands for. Everything.”

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